Morning Roundup: Apr. 22, 2019

By The Fix staff 04/22/19

The rise and fall of a drug-running mega-church pastor, record-setting buckets of pills seized by authorities, Mitch McConnell to prioritize raising tobacco age.

record-setting pills seizure
Buckets of pills. Sebastian Kaulitzki |

Science Professor Allegedly Taught Students to Make Ecstasy [Guardian]
A professor at a Japanese university could face up to a 10-year prison sentence if convicted of allegedly teaching students how to produce MDMA. The drug was not found in a police search, but traces of another banned "cannabis-like substance" was. 

'Magic' Mushroom Decriminalization Supporters Cite Health Benefits [Colorado Public Radio]
If passed, Initiative 301 would de-prioritize psilocybin mushroom use and possession in Denver. Proponents of the measure say that the substance has "tremendous potential" for the treatment of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

'Rap and Recovery' Offers Hope for Addiction Treatment in Burnaby [CBC]
Rap heals for participants of "Rap and Recovery," a music therapy program in British Columbia. "It's a good way for me to release emotions that I have a hard time dealing with or opening up about," said one participant.  

Mitch McConnell: Raising Age to Buy Tobacco to 21 a 'Top Priority' [Politico]
The Senate majority leader is placing the tobacco age at the top of his to-do list. His hope is to discourage vaping among young people and promote good health across the U.S.

The Church of Living Dangerously: How One Mega-Church Pastor Became a Drug Runner for a Mexican Cartel [Vanity Fair]
The story of the "Kmart church" pastor, John Bishop, who welcomed "the unchurched" to his unconventional congregation. Vanity Fair details his rise and fall from grace—and how he got mixed up with a drug cartel in Mexico with his son.

Perspective: Death and Resurrection. Addiction and Recovery. [Sojourners]
A word from author Timothy McMahan King on Easter, addiction and resurrection. "Resurrection is not just a promise that things can return to the way things were before but that new life, something even better than before, is possible."

Urgent Care on Demand, Except This Time for Mental Health [WBUR]
When your psychiatrist can't see you soon enough, a unique clinic in Boston—one of a handful in the U.S.—is there to fill the gap. "Sometimes you just need a quick look to see if there's something that can be done in the moment that might get you back on track for your care." 

Buckets of Pills: Dark Web Crackdown Yields Largest Pill Bust in NJ History []
A huge amount of illicit pills were being peddled via the dark web marketplace—but it wasn't enough to evade authorities, who netted a record amount of the drugs.

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